It’s no longer just about listing your products and selling online. Over the past few years, online shopping has seen a significant transition from ‘what kind of product I need’ to ‘what kind of experience I want’. Which means, just because you have a great product doesn’t mean customers will buy from you. You must provide them an acceptable level of experience to hook their attention and interest.

This is where the design of your eCommerce website becomes very important. If it isn’t optimized to deliver a good experience to the visitors, not only will it lose sales but it will also hurt the brand’s value, which is bad for the longevity of your business. In that context, here are five eCommerce website design mistakes that can cost you big money:

1. High Loading Time

Did you know even a 100ms latency costs Amazon 1% in sales? They lose billions of dollars if their website loads even a second too slow. Of course, we’re talking about one of the biggest brands in the world. The majority of the eCommerce businesses aren’t even nearly as big. But the point still holds… If the website is loading slowly, it will lose customers. Foremost, it will struggle in ranking higher on SERP. Moreover, even after getting the traffic, the website will leak conversion. Ideally, you want to have an eCommerce website that loads properly in less than three seconds (on phone and desktop), but the quicker the better.

2. Poor Quality (And Insufficient) Images

The entire online shopping model relies on WYSIWYG. But if your product images are of poor quality – and if they aren’t in sufficient numbers – what will the prospect even see?! Sadly, this is a common eCommerce website design mistake. You should have many pictures that the product from every angle. Also, the quality of the images should be excellent so that they don’t break when zoomed in.

3. Long Checkout Process

Having a long checkout process will inevitably leak potential customers. People spend a lot of time when making a purchase decision. If you’re allowing them to think longer with your long checkout process, they may change their mind and not purchase at all. Moreover, nobody likes a long checkout process where you’re redirecting them to several pages and asking for unnecessary details. The checkout should ideally be seamless with bare minimum clicks and information requirements. The design of the eCommerce website should be efficient around this.

4. No Thoughts Given To Increase Sales

Up-selling, down-selling, and cross-selling are proven techniques that can significantly boost your sales. And they are more than just about recommending the buyers some casual options. In sync with real-time data (what the customer is buying and what products they are viewing), the website design should effectively incorporate these techniques in an attractive and relevant way. Such website elements are important to personalize the shopping experience of the customers.

5. Weak Internal Search Engine

This is a big problem especially if you’re selling a lot of different products. Above all, your search bar on the website should be strategically (and visibly) positioned so that it provides easy access. It should ideally be able to produce relevant results, based on search queries, in an attractive way. With a robust internal search engine – along with a smart result page – you can easily increase your sales.


These are five eCommerce website design mistakes that can cost you a lot of money. Admittedly, there are plenty of other mistakes that many businesses and designers make all the time, like not promoting discounts more visibly, having confusing navigation, hiding reviews somewhere in the corner, having difficult-to-find contact information, and more. In the end, what’s important is to stay true to the fundamentals of eCommerce website design that are centric to good user-experience.

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Are you looking for an experience-driven digital solution for your product or service?
Author Muki Regunathan
24 years of entrepreneurial experience with a focus on design and technology. Muki has Invested in 19 start-ups with three successful exits. Over the last 20 years, Muki has worked with 350+ leading companies maximize their outcome with Digital Innovation. Enterprises, emerging companies, and startups partner with Pepper Square to solve their business problems with all things digital.

Green UI - Designing for the Future